Spring 2018


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Patty Born-Selly

Content Expert

Jeff LeClere


The author of this project promotes elementary environmental education through hands-on herpetology games, activities, and additional resources. Engaging environmental education activities aim to improve student attitudes and perceptions of native reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna). The content of the literature review describes how changing and improving student attitudes and perceptions of herpetofauna can foster understanding and development of empathy towards animals. Empathy towards animals can be generalized to human-directed empathy. The values of educating with live animals are described in detail. Inquiry, experiential, and hands-on teaching strategies to environmental education are implemented in the materials. Offering curriculum in which students interact with live animals provides opportunities for memorable learning experiences. The author creates an elementary educator resource guide to herpetology in Minnesota bridging the gap between the classroom and nature center experience. The project artifact is a resource guide which includes reasons to teach herpetology, vocabulary terms, ethics and etiquette of handling wild and captive herpetofauna, recommended animal handling techniques relative to multiple families of herpetofauna, six herpetology-themed games, five herpetology-themed activities, a list of recommended citizen science opportunities, a list of resources to contact for live animal presentations and outreach, and additional resources to help build or supplement herpetology curriculum

Project Type



Curriculum, Environmental Studies, Science, Environmental Education

Included in

Education Commons